Single Idea 4685

[catalogued under 25. Social Practice / F. Life Issues / 1. Causing Death]

Full Idea

There is often a big discrepancy between what a society will spend on saving the life of a known person in peril, and what it will spend to reduce the future level of fatal accidents.

Gist of Idea

Societies spend a lot to save known persons, but very little to reduce fatal accidents


Jonathan Glover (Causing Death and Saving Lives [1977], 16.3)

Book Reference

Glover,Jonathan: 'Causing Death and Saving Lives' [Penguin 1982], p.210

A Reaction

This is a good point in favour of utilitarian approaches, which ask for impersonal calculation (which presumably embody an ideal of justice, buried somewhere in utilitarianism). But it isn't just 'sentimentality'.